Customs files case vs judge over TRO on Mighty raids
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs on Monday, March 13, filed administrative charges with the Supreme Court against a Manila judge who ordered a halt to raids on and inspections of Mighty Corporation warehouses.
In a 24-page complaint, BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon accused Judge Tita Alisuag of the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 1 of gross ignorance of the law for issuing a temporary restraining order on the operations being conducted by the customs and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) against the tobacco firm.
Mighty Corporation filed for preliminary injunction against the BOC and the BIR on March 3. This was after operatives of the two bureaus found "no counterfeit, fake or smuggled goods” in Mighty’s warehouses but still carried on with the raid. It was supposedly not covered by the agents’ mission order.
Judge Alisuag issued a 20-day TRO, effective from the date of filing of Mighty’s case, or until March 23.
The local court is set to hear Mighty’s plea for preliminary injunction Tuesday, but BOC legal service chief Alvin Ebreo said they would seek the judge’s inhibition.
Faeldon said in his complaint: “The TRO was overbroad, practically prohibiting the BOC from exercising its mandate over Mighty Corporation. It effectively made Mighty Corporation untouchable and immune from any and all acts of the BOC.”
The customs commissioner argued that Section 202 of Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act gives the bureau exclusive jurisdiction over all cases of seizure and forfeiture.
Section 301, he said, provides that "all goods, including means of transport, entering or leaving customs territory, regardless of whether they are liable to duties and taxes, shall be subject to customs control.” – Rappler.com